The demanding rally raid from Russia to China gathers the best drivers of the world for two weeks of extreme off road.

The most awaited and spectacular off road challenge of summer is ready to begin: from 7 to 22 July the Silk Way Rally will take place, starting from Russia and crossing Asia through the ancient Silk Way before arriving to the Chinese city of Xi’An. The event, arrived to its 7th edition, presents a new route and is expected to be an international show broadcasted in 196 different countries.

First to go up on the ceremonial podium on 7th of July are defending champions Cyril Despres and David Castera from the Peugeot Sport Team, which is also represented this year by Stephane Peterhansel and Sebastien Loeb. Their main rivals will be the MINI cars of Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Vladimir Vasiliev – silver and bronze prize winners on the 6th Silk Way Rally.

Among other racing stars there are Bryce Menzies, the American sportsmen and holder of the 4×4 long jump record (115 meters), the famous Chinese champion Han Wei and French talent Jerome Pelichet, both on a Toyota Hilux. The great interest of rally experts is stirred by Christian Lavielle, the experienced rally-raid specialist, who will lead manufacturer Baicmotor Racing Team during this competition.

Russia will be represented by the high-skilled Victor Khoroshavtsev from ASPEC Motorsport Team, the Kostorukov brothers from GAZ Raid Sport Team, the all-women crew of Maria Oparina and Taisia Shtaneva, as well as many other famous racers.

Luc Alphand, public relationship manager and Silk Way Rally ambassador, is sure that the event is going to be a huge success: “This year’s edition of the Silk Way Rally will give rally fans the chance to dream; the dunes of the Gobi Desert, the stages in Dunhuang, Alashan Youqi and the final section in Xi’An will get drivers many adrenaline rushes. It’s a human adventure even before than a sport competition, an experience that makes people proud to be part of it. From a technical point of view, we tried to reduce transfers and to design special stages on different kinds of surfaces. Drive ability, as well as navigation, will be an essential element of this big journey.”.

After the start from the Red Square in Moscow, right in front of the Kremlin, the Silk Way Rally will cross Tcheboksary, Ufa, Kostanai, Astana, Semey, Urdzhar and Karamay. Then a rest day is scheduled in Urumqi, an oasis in the middle of the mountains of Tian Shan Bogdo. The race will head to Hami, Dunhuang, Jiayuguan, Alashan and Zhongwei before ending in the land of the Terracotta Army – the city of Xi’An – theatre of the awarding ceremony.

Sources: Silk Way Rally  –  Motorage